Cayler Ellingson’s Death In North Dakota Led To The Imprisonment Of Shannon Brandt

Cayler Ellingson's Death In North Dakota Led To The Imprisonment Of Shannon Brandt

Shannon Brandt was given a 5-year prison term on Friday for fatally running over Cayler Ellingson, an 18-year-old, after a street dance.

Cayler Ellingson's Death In North Dakota Led To The Imprisonment Of Shannon Brandt

On September 18, 2022, in McHenry, North Dakota, Brandt, 42, allegedly struck Ellingson with his 2003 Ford Explorer during an altercation, according to the prosecution. According to an arrest affidavit submitted by a member of the North Dakota State Patrol, Brandt informed the 911 operator that Ellingson “wouldn’t let me leave.” The affidavit states that Brandt also informed the 911 operator that Ellingson was making calls to other people in order to “get him.”

“He got on my vehicle and I couldn’t get him away from me,” Brandt said of Ellingson. “He was threatening me. He was saying something about some Republican extremist group, saying, ‘I thought he was part of us.’”

Ellingson was brought to a nearby hospital with serious wounds, where he eventually passed away. Initially leaving the scene of the incident, Brandt later went back and dialled 911.

A study of the 911 call transcript reveals that Brandt did not refer to Ellingson as a “Republican extremist,” as claimed in an affidavit submitted by a North Dakota State Patrol officer. Capt. Bryan Niewind of the North Dakota Highway Patrol previously told Fox News Digital that there was “no evidence” that the adolescent belonged to a “Republican extremist group” or that the event was motivated by politics.

Forster County State’s Attorney Kara Brinster eventually escalated Brandt’s initial criminal vehicular manslaughter charges to murder.

On May 2, the accusations were changed to manslaughter, and on May 18, Brandt entered a guilty plea.

Brandt was given a five-year state prison sentence, although his sentence will be reduced by about a year thanks to time served for his house arrest, according to Fox station KVRR. He will go through three years of closely monitored probation after being released from prison.

Brandt accidentally ran Ellingson over with the 2003 Ford Explorer, according to a report from the North Dakota State Medical Examiner’s Office, which determined that the occurrence was an accident.

According to KVRR, Brinster asked for three years of supervised release after Brandt’s sentence of five years in jail with credit for time served. She claimed that Brandt’s remarks to investigators were inconsistent with the admissible evidence in the case and that he didn’t accept full responsibility for Ellingson’s murder.

During Friday’s sentencing, Foster County Judge Bradley Cruff spent a considerable amount of time discussing Brandt’s autism diagnosis, which experts think led to an exaggerated reaction and response in the circumstance with Ellingson.

“You didn’t intentionally run him over. I acknowledge that. I understand what the experts in this case are saying about how your mind work. And you didn’t intentionally kill Cayler. But he did die. And that’s a result of your alcohol consumption. You recklessly pushed Cayler to the ground with your SUV, you recklessly ran him over, and you recklessly killed him,” Cruff said.

Cayler’s mother, Sheri Ellingson, requested that the judge disregard the terms of the plea bargain and impose the maximum 10-year sentence for manslaughter instead.

“Shannon, you took a piece of our family that’s not replaceable. When you chose to take Cayler’s life and happiness you took ours too. You have caused our family endless pain, heartache, and sleepless nights. Our days, months, and years will never be the same because of your selfishness,” Sheri Ellingson said.

Before being given a sentence, Brandt also spoke to the court.

“I’m here to take responsibility for the role I played in this tragedy. I’ve very sorry to the Ellingson family, my family, and anybody else who has been affected by my actions. I have always enjoyed seeing the Ellingsons and would never have intentionally caused harm to any of them. I am truly devastated by the impact this has had on the entire community,” Brandt said.

Mark Friese, Brandt’s attorney, told Fox News Digital that Shannon is relieved that the situation has been resolved and that those impacted by the tragedy can begin to recover.

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